Sunday, August 18, 2013

Community and loneliness in the midst of many people

What does being in a community mean to you?  Is it your neighborhood, is it your church, is it your work?  It can be all of those things, or one of those things.  One thing that community has in common is things that are mutual to those involved.  A church community has God as the center.  A neighborhood has the safety and camaraderie in common.  Your work group has a common sense of stress, or success or failures.

On the mission field a community is typically twofold - the community you work in, and the team as a community.  The community you work in is filled with people you love, people you minister to, and people you have invested your life into.  The mission community team is filled with people who, mostly, have a common heritage - from the U.S., gringos, understand American Football, the idiosyncrasies of what it means to come from the U.S. and live in your host country.  These things bind a team together and create a community.  Within that community there are natural groups that form - people who are in the same stage of life, who have families, who don't, age, ministry objectives, etc.  The hard part can be when you find you don't fit in with any of the established groups.  When your child is the oldest, you are the oldest, the only medical provider on the team, not single, driven, and have different priorities.  It can be a lonely place.  It is when this realization comes that you come to that place in life where you have to be content with where you are, and who you are.  To find acceptance is others is not what is important, but to find acceptance with who you are as a Christian, and who you are in Christ is what is important.  To fill the lonely places with people always leads to disappointment and the failure of who we are as humans.  The only way to fill this lonely place is with Christ.

So although I may not be part of any particular community, the one community I am ALWAYS a part of is my community with Christ and my family.  In them I feel whole.  In them I am not lonely, and with Christ, He will never disappoint.  So the road outside may be lonely and isolating, the road with Christ can only be one that is full and filled with a sense of belonging.


Mindy Hertzell said...

And you are a part of my community, even over all these miles. I hear your heart in your post today. <3

christina said...

Erin you are not alone and you ARE precious in His eyes. Thank you got putting into words what is hidden in my hearty - your blog hit very close to home